Greg Schiano Again Confesses He Wasn’t “Prepared” For Bucs, NFL

May 22nd, 2023

Candid sitdown.

Former Bucs commander Greg Schiano, who is in his second tour of duty as Rutgers’ coach, had a rare sitdown where he briefly discussed his time leading the Bucs.

Schiano appeared on the college football podcast “Next Up with Adam Breneman.” There, Schiano spoke for about an hour mostly talking college football, but also for maybe five minutes or so about his time coaching Tampa Bay.

Looking back, though Schiano didn’t say these words, it was a bad mistake for him to take the Bucs’ job in 2012.

Schiano told Breneman he wasn’t actively seeking any NFL job when the Bucs pursued him. The job offer came out of the blue.

So why did he take it? Schiano said he felt “trapped” by the unpredictable nature of NCAA conference expansion and realignment, thinking Rutgers was to be relegated to a mid-major conference for good, something he didn’t want.

Schiano detailed a twisting road from Piscataway to Tampa that paralleled the changing landscape of conference realignment. It was that series of dominoes that opened the door for the Bucs to pull Schiano out of New Jersey.

Schiano was clear he never sought an interview with Team Glazer.

“I didn’t, quite honestly,” Schiano said. “[The job offer] did come to me. Quite honestly I wanted to be [at Rutgers] the rest of my career. I built a house a half-mile from here. I was going to stay here the rest of my career. …

“But then our league fell apart.”

The road to Tampa began with Schiano’s efforts to somehow get Rutgers into the Big Ten. He wanted Rutgers there so badly, he admitted he constantly hounded former long-time Big Ten chieftain Jim Delany.

“From 2002 on, I was trying to get Rutgers into the Big Ten,” Schiano said. “It was very hard to do, right? Poor Jim Delany, every time he saw me coming it was like, ‘Oh, God.’ He’s a Jersey guy so I would always try to play the Jersey sentimental [angle].

“I really thought it was happening. And then it fell through. I really felt trapped. All of a sudden, we were not going to have a league.”

The Big East, which Rutgers was a member of, disbanded as a football conference after it was raided by the ACC. With no jobs open at a major football school he may have been interested in, Schiano wasn’t fired up by the prospect of possibly coaching in the AAC, a conference that was remodeled with football programs from the ashes of the Big East in 2013.

(Yes, the Big East still survives as a basketball conference.)

So with Rutgers heading to the AAC, Schiano was rescued when the Bucs called him out of the blue.

Schiano said of getting a job coaching the Bucs and being an NFL coach, “Fortunately or unfortunately.” (Joe could see the pain in his face when he shrugged, lifted a palm and sighed). Schiano added of taking the Bucs’ job, “I ran from something, not to something.”

Schiano realized he made a mistake not by struggling with the Bucs or anything to do with the NFL, but during a random phone call from a Rutgers official.

“I was sitting in my office in Tampa, palm trees blowing outside the window,” Schiano said. “People would say, ‘It doesn’t get better than that,’ right? They called me from Rutgers and said, ‘Guess what? We just got invited to the Big Ten.’

“I did my best to be excited for them. But I hung up the phone and literally started crying. Because that’s what I had dreamt of. I dreamt of Rutgers being in the Big Ten. But the only part of the dream that was missing was I wasn’t the head coach there.”

Schiano later emphasized he wasn’t ready to be an NFL coach.

“The National Football League was something I was not prepared for,” Schiano admitted, something he’s confessed to previously. “I never prepared to be a head coach in the NFL. It came to me and I took it because I was afraid to be” at Rutgers given the uncertain conference circumstances.

“One thing I know is I’m not good if I don’t plan for stuff. The NFL is not a place to learn on the job, I can tell you that from experience.”

Joe will have more from Schiano tomorrow.

45 Responses to “Greg Schiano Again Confesses He Wasn’t “Prepared” For Bucs, NFL”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yeah, we already know this Greg.
    We were literally a laughing stock, trying to break up the victory formation.
    It was a disgusting time. Poor Gerald McCoy

  2. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    He set this team back years and I still hate him…

    Sent Michael Bennett, Aqib Talib, and Legarrett Blount packing for reason…All they did was go else where and win Super Bowls…

  3. Elita Vita Says:

    So after all this time Greg is admitting it was really HIS “toes that weren’t on the line”.

  4. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Who cares, dude sucked, end or story.

  5. Dooley Says:

    **Booing intensifies**

  6. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    That was very interesting.

  7. Bucsministerfuller Says:

    Still not as bad a coach as Lovie Smith.

  8. Allen Lofton Says:

    His My Way or the Highway is a poor way to live life in any capacity.

  9. FlBoy84 Says:

    Had a rough tenure, but not as down on the guy as many. Have to give him props for being open and honest, it’s a shame Bowles doesn’t share that same self-awareness

  10. D-Rome Says:

    He set this team back years and I still hate him

    It wasn’t just Schiano. It was Schiano and Mark Dominick.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    He’s a very good football coach, obviously, but just a bad fit for us and really for the NFL. If he wanted to be in the NFL, a pathway that works for college guys is to take a position, or maybe coordinator, job for a few years before moving up. But he’s in the right place now for him. Which is not very close to Tampa.

  12. Tap-Out Says:

    Don’t talk about Bowles …if you can’t talk about Greg.

  13. Tap-Out Says:

    ….and Lovie is doing ok for himself …just to let you people know!

  14. YucsBall Says:

    Great hire by the Glazers right there.

  15. Joe Says:

    Still not as bad a coach as Lovie Smith.


  16. Mark Says:

    He probably means he didn’t have enough water bottles in his hands.

  17. Curse of Gruden Says:

    But after years of NFL head coaching experience, somehow, Lovie was still worse…..

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Man I honestly never knew he wasn’t even wanting an NFL job. Now I have way less anger for this guy how can you even blame him lol.

    Who’s idea was it to hire him? Was it Mark Dominik?

    IMO the Glazers + Dominik are the biggest 2 reasons we were bad for a very long time. Ultimately you need to hire a decent GM and HC to have a decent franchise. And that is on ownership more than anyone. Look how bad the Jags looked until their owner pulled the plug on Meyer and got a legit coach in the building.

    This is how I imagine the blame really should go but who knows:

    Hiring Dominik & Raheem Morris – Glazers
    Hiring Schiano – Dominik & Glazers
    Hiring Jason Licht – Glazers
    Hiring Lovie Smith – Glazers
    Hiring Dirk Koetter – GLazers & Licht
    Hiring Bruce Arians – Licht & Glazers (put Licht first because without him it doesn’t happen)
    Hiring Todd Bowles – Bruce Arians ? lol

    In all that time the only great hire they made is Jason Licht / Bruce Arians (who came with Licht). Raheem is a great coach too but maybe not HC.

    The good thing is I feel like they have a GM in the building that can at least steer them in a better direction than Dominik. I love the OC hire and D-line guy we’ve got.

  19. Winky Says:

    I like Schiano.

    Go Bucs!!

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I totally agree, not as bad a coach as Lovie Smith.
    I hate Lovie so much I sill can hardly look at him when Houston plays.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Schiano was the polar Zen opposite of Softie Smith. Polar extremes.

    But with similar stinky results.

  22. David Says:

    The hate some fans have for people trying to do a job is despicable. I don’t understand how you can read that and not have a little empathy for the guy. He was building something his whole life and doing a damn good job at it and it was all taken away because of the way college has just poached every conference in order to make 4 relevant super conferences. It’s horrible what college football has done.
    As a fan, you might say -well he should not have taken the buccaneer job… What college coach in that situation would not have done that? And give him credit for saying all this. He’s also a good football coach at the college ranks.

    Love you, Smith, is the one who’s not a good coach. Don’t have hate for that guy either, he’s just not good, and the NFL has constantly given him chances over and over and over probably, partly, dare I say, because of the color of his skin.

  23. Tap-Out Says:

    We playing Bingo …the game is Football….and if you don’t win you are labeled a bad coach regardless of any other tangibles or may I say intangibles. CHECK-MATE!

  24. garro Says:

    I always liked Schiano, unlike a lot of folks here but I liked his no nonsense style. Not so much the micro management.
    The thing I don’t think he understood was the vast difference between coaching men who are past all the rah rah stuff and more concerned about their next contract.
    The way you come across to these young players today has to be different.

  25. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    So the Bucs decided to hire a college coach who wasn’t even trying to apply to the NFL. Were they trying to tank? This could almost be Ted Lasso.

  26. Tap-Out Says:

    David …. There are plenty of dare I say Coaches of non color that have held on to jobs at the Head Coaching position! I get it he dare but when will it ever get fare! #CHESS

  27. D-Rome Says:

    NFL has constantly given him chances over and over and over probably, partly, dare I say, because of the color of his skin.

    Right because the fact that he was once NFL Coach of the Year and led the Bears to a Super Bowl with a terrible QB had nothing to do with it…

  28. Darin Says:

    I liked blowing up the victory formation. It ain’t over til it’s over. I’d welcome that mindset back right about now. Instead we played for overtime with the goat. Schianos not a bad coach just not a good NFL coach, as he said. C’mon bowles you need to say it now too!

  29. Dooley Says:

    **intensified booing intensifies even more**

  30. Geno711 Says:

    To me Greg Schiano was as well prepared as:

    Richard Williamson
    Leeman Bennett

    or GMs:

    Mark Dominik
    Phil Kruger

  31. AnonymousBuc76 Says:

    I agree.on the Lovie Smith comments…

    We took some of the worst beatings in Bucs history under him…Can’t for get the Falcons game where Devin Hester went nuts and they put 50 on the board; or the Thursday night game when the Rams dropped 50 with a journeyman QB…

  32. Crickett Baker Says:

    This was a very interesting article, Joe. It really hit on the human element of the coach.

  33. Waterboy Says:

    A robust interview process is supposed to flush out those candidates who arent fully prepared or committed to working for you. Glazers failed miserably in this regard. Schiano is not a bad guy and unlike Urban Meyer, most of his former players spoke well about him. But that jump from coaching kids to men was too much of a hurdle for him, especially if his heart was not in coaching in the NFL.

  34. Statguy Says:

    I liked blowing up the victory formation too. Schiano is a good coach, he was trying to do too much not having a staff around him. I don’t even remember who the off and def coordinators were

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    This piece of Jersey Trash ruined Josh Freeman – he was truly an idiot, on the same level as Leftwich. The first thing this moron did when he got to town is tell Freeman he wasn’t allowed to move, and literally put knee braces on him to limit his mobility. He demanded Freeman be a pocket passer, not some freelancer that made plays outside of the pocket when the play broke down.

    This moron drove Freeman to a live of drugs and destroyed that should have been a long career with the Bucs first franchise QB ever.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Statguy Says:
    May 22nd, 2023 at 2:03 pm
    I liked blowing up the victory formation too. Schiano is a good coach


    OK, I will completely agree with you on the victory formation. People clutching their pearls on that are frauds. It’s a one score game – you do whatever you can to win until the clock hits zero.

    As for Schiano being a good coach – you’re fake news. Schiano was garbage, destroyed a good young team.

  37. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Lovie ran the perfect lawn chair defense. 1st and goal at the 1, and lovie would have 3 guys on the defensive line. Nt and 2 defensive ends. That’s it. Everyone else off the ball in the endzone. Absolutely no way to avoid getting scored on.

  38. Fred McNeil Says:

    I always liked Shiano. I loved it when he blew up the victory formation. He’s obviously a better college coach than pro. Wasn’t he the coach when that superbug baceria infected several players or was that Morris?Anyway,

    Worst Buc coaches:

    Lenient Leeman Bennett
    Richard Williamson
    Sir Ray Perkins sir
    Lovie Smith
    Sam the sham Wyche
    Turd Bowlzo

    Now the Best:

    Bucco Bruce Ariens
    Chuckie Gruden
    John McKay
    Raheem Morris
    Greg Shiano

  39. Capt.Tim Says:

    He was a horrible, horrible coach. As he admitted.
    If you are one of the uninformed- who have spoken highly of him over the years, please go hit the the jumper platdform on the Skyway.
    Share us all your opininions.
    Does this article make you feel bad for him?
    Of course it does. What a rotten predicament.
    He was a horrible coach. Id be a horrible coach. So would EVERY poster here.
    Doesnt make him a bad person.
    Or a good coach

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    garro Says
    “I always liked Schiano, unlike a lot of folks here but I liked his no nonsense style. Not so much the micro management.”

    Same. I think after what Morris did to the team, a hardline coach was needed.

    Most of those guys he ‘chased out’ were getting in trouble here. The change of scenery sobered them up.

    Dirk was probably my favorite of the bad coaches of this generation.

    Morris and Smith my least favorites.

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dungy was my all-time favorite. He actually did the work to turn the team around. He didn’t take the work of others to win. He made a true culture change.

    Arians…I thought he was all talk at first…but that quickly changed.

    I just hope Bowles either proves us all wrong or gets the next guy in quickly.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Here’s my own best/worst Bucs coaches ever…

    Top 3

    1. Tony Dungy – I started watching / listening to the Bucs on a weekly basis in 1987, but before that I remember games going back to 1982. As a kid, years are a lot longer than they are as an adult, and the Bucs were stuck in nowhereville until Dungy came along and turned the team around. If the refs don’t screw the Bucs in the 99/00 Championship game, he’d have his SB trophy here. Also, he’s the only HOF’er on this list (at the moment, Arians should make it).

    2. Bruce Arians – can’t argue with the results. If Gay doesn’t miss those kicks in ’19, he doesn’t even have a losing season. The drop off from Arians to Bowles was dramatic, just proving how good Arians really is. Only knock is that he wasn’t here long.

    3. John McKay – Like I need to explain?

    Bottom 3

    1. Jon Gruden – Because of his out of control ego that had to prove he could win without Dungy’s team, so he destroyed what should have been a dynasty. For that, he gets this spot.

    2. Leeman Bennett – Hard to argue with his results, 4 wins, 28 losses, and he made Steve Young look so bad, the Bucs gave him away.

    3. Richard Williamson – 4 wins, 15 loses. Was promoted from WR coach, looked completely lost as a head coach, way in over his head.

    Honorable mention: Greg Schiano – he destroyed Josh Freeman, who should have been a franchise QB for a long time.

  43. westernbuc Says:

    Schiano couldn’t prepare for a head case QB and trust fund kid owners. Low-IQ fans always need a scapegoat: him, Koetter, Jameis, GMC, Byron… It’s a team sport and everyone is paid to be there.

  44. IE Buc Says:

    I always liked Schiano. Even though he wasn’t successful, he had good defensive teams that never quit on him. They played hard. He just couldn’t figure out how to have a good offense. He hired NY Giants coach ad OC that didn’t work out.

  45. Hodad Says:

    You hire Lovie Smith if you want the #1 pick in the draft the following year.